FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS: Stroke recovery involves adapting to new limitations and discovering the support necessary to live life. These changes are influenced by a range of environmental factors. Healthcare professionals need to support stroke patients in identifying challenges and work to find innovative ways to address them. Stroke survivors may benefit from the use of an assistive device beyond its clinical function to participate purposefully in activities of daily living. Implications for Rehabilitation Stroke is a cause of disability that limits everyday activities and reduces social participation. Assistive devices help achieve independence, social inclusion and shape stroke recovery. Individuals with disabilities in low and middle income countries often do not have access to assistive devices and resort to innovative solutions that are purpose built. Stroke recovery involves adapting to new limitations and discovering the support necessary to live life as best as possible.
METHOD: Articles published between 2000 and 2016 were searched in PUBMED and EBSCO databases.
RESULTS: Thirty-two articles were included in the final review. Most studies with adult participants showed that SMNR has no effect on speech intelligibility. Positive results were reported for acceptance of background noise, preference, and listening effort. Studies of school-aged children were consistent with the findings of adult studies. No study with infants or young children of under 5 years old was found. Recent studies on noise-reduction systems not yet available in wearable hearing aids have documented benefits of noise reduction on memory for speech processing for older adults.
CONCLUSIONS: This evidence supports the use of SMNR for adults and school-aged children when the aim is to improve listening comfort or reduce listening effort. Future research should test SMNR with infants and children who are younger than 5 years of age. Further development, testing, and clinical trials should be carried out on algorithms not yet available in wearable hearing aids. Testing higher cognitive level for speech processing and learning of novel sounds or words could show benefits of advanced signal processing features. These approaches should be expanded to other populations such as children and younger adults. Implications for rehabilitation The review provides a quick reference for students and clinicians regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of SMNR in wearable hearing aids. This information is useful during counseling session to build a realistic expectation among hearing aid users. Most studies in the adult population suggest that SMNR may provide some benefits to adult listeners in terms of listening comfort, acceptance of background noise, and release of cognitive load in a complex listening condition. However, it does not improve speech intelligibility. Studies that examined SMNR in the paediatric population suggest that SMNR may benefit older school-aged children, aged between 10 and 12 years old. The evidence supports the use of SMNR for adults and school-aged children when the aim is to improve listening comfort or reduce listening effort.